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Tuesday, November 30, 2010
9x12 Acrylic Canvas Paper, Open Acrylics
After Painting 86, Maria joined me with a paintbrush and started creating her own painting. Maria is 15 and has a very creative soul. She was working on a winter, spring, summer, fall painting with a gorgeous heart, and her style inspired me to create this one. I kept going with her spring component and added a bird (surprise!). I would never have thought of painting something like this on my own. It's good to work with another artist to try something new. We had so much fun painting together!
Flowers and warmth are just a memory now...it's cold and rainy--and snow is on the way this weekend.
We visited the Royal Palace in Bangkok yesterday. The sun was 'white hot' and bright as we walked down the long driveway. On either side were these big borders of wonderfully green plants with bright boganvilla and marigolds shining in the sun....it almost hurt the eye. It was too hot to paint outside so I took a picture and painted it at home! Its hot in Kolkata as well, but somehow the sun seems brighter here, there seems less dust as well. Viveck says everything has been covered in concrete, hence there seems to be less dust, and certainly no garbage in the areas we are staying in. Bangkok is such a glittery city, full of high rises and really grand malls, and now with Christmas around the corner, full of lights.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Finally there is time to paint again so am glad to be posting something! I have been travelling a lot with work so very little time to paint...now am travelling again....but this time on holiday in Bangkok....and one of the things on the agenda is to try and do one painting everyday! I saw this wonderful terracotta planter on the road side, with the corwn of thorns....the colours were so beautiful, that I did a quick sketch!
I call this one Lonesome George because nearly every time we drive past the lone Douglas fir there is one hawk perched high in the dead portion. Sometimes it is a red-tailed hawk and sometimes a red-shouldered hawk. I was trying a new paper, Canson 140# cold press.
I'm also posting my last post, but this time with the edge showing. A couple of you commented you like a little roughness along the edge. I do too ..... but this obviously was a mess, so I cropped it off. Just thought I'd let you see what it looks like without cropping. I pressed down along the tape edge. Next time I'll make a point of pressing harder, but I really think the problem was throughly wetting the paper and having the moisture sneak underneath the tape ... and releasing it. My recent foggy scene in the trees was also taped (on different paper) with less juicy paint). The taped edge worked just fine on that one.
My niece, Maria (who is also an artist), was at my house Saturday evening, and I wanted to show her how easy the Open Acrylics are to work with, so I did this little Red-breasted Nuthatch as a very quick demo. When I was finished she wondered if I was going to put the painting in the 100. "I don't know, what do you think?" I asked. "Definitely," she said! So...here it is...painting #86.
This cup and saucer is part of a set of Haviland China hand monogrammed by my great-grandmother. It has been passed down in our family and is now in my mother's china cabinet. I am still on a quest to make "shiny" easier to paint. I have been practicing on metal and glass surfaces also. I am finding that I really do like using purple tones as my shadow colors (in cool areas, that is). This watercolor paper is smooth surface instead of rough, which I seem to use often since I like the visible texture. I used mixes of yellow ochre and raw sienna in my gold paint color. All in all, very fun to paint and I have my eye on some other pretty little items in the china cabinet for future watercolors.
Watercolor on Arches cold pressed paper
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Amanita are one of my favorite mushrooms. Off to the left of the amanita are two tiny bird's nest fungi growing on the twig.
I taped the edges of this piece and painted it on a blank Strathmore notecard .... but the paint bled under the tape. Darn! Guess I'll have to trim it and mount it on another piece of paper.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
This is a very small painting, ATC size. The inspiration comes from one of our Yellowstone photographs. Just before we leave Yellowstone the little birds start arriving in earnest. They come late to the high country.
Painted with watercolor on illustration board.
Monday, November 22, 2010
I enjoy using wine corks as painting subjects. I love to paint corks because there is an abundance of detail and each one is unique. I like the different logo designs stamped on them, along with all the nooks and crannies that make them one of a kind. Most of the corks I have are wine corks, but there more than a few champagne corks also. Christmas, New Years, anniversaries- they deserve champagne at our house. With the holidays almost upon us, it made me think a champagne cork would be a good watercolor. I have painted many corks in the past, but they have all been close to their true size. I wanted to try out larger than life corks. I have to say, it was lots of fun- more area to work with meant more fun with the details.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
12x16 Arches Cold Pressed 140 Lb Paper
I painted this Hooded Warbler on 12x16 paper, forgetting my scanner can only handle 9x12! So...a good deal of the background has been cut off. Matty and I found this fellow in the deep woods this summer. He came in very close for the camera, but I lost the memory card that held the captures! I kept thinking I would create him from my memory...but never put in the effort. Finally, the challenge helped me do it. These little summertime warblers are so beautiful. I can never get enough of them.
Painted from memories new ones and old ones. Two nights ago my husband and I spotted a great horned owl about a block from home. We could hear a youngster calling nearby and another adult farther off.
Yesterday I listened for the owls. All was quiet. But the nearly full moon was lovely. When I looked out the dark sky still held some of the day’s blueness and soft clouds softened the outline of the moon.
Late this afternoon I got an itch to create a little painting from the owls, the moon, and from memories. The only reference I used was a 20 minute sketch of my neighbor’s scraggly cedar. I’ve got owls embedded in my brain because I grew up with great horned owls flying free outside, and getting into mischief inside, my parent’s home. My favorite was “Minerva,” an owlet I raised from tiny on.
And if this subject matter looks familiar, I posted a great horned owl and moon as my challenge #15, in the middle of last March. I like the color in this way better. Back then I knew I wanted to handle night color but didn’t know where to begin.
Pencil drawing, watercolor, oil pastel, soft pastel
9x12 Arches Rough 140 Lb Paper
The process on this painting was similar to Painting 82, but I deviated on the background, bringing in a square-shaped soft pastel to scrape some of the oil pastel away and then leave its powdery residue behind to be smeared over the rest of the painting. I love experimenting with these different styles. It's so much fun to make up things as you go!
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Pencil drawing, watercolor, oil pastel
9x12 Arches Rough 140 Lb Paper
This little Red-breasted Nuthatch started its life as a pencil drawing, but soon morphed into a watercolor...then a night later decided he needed to be rendered in oil pastels.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Pencil drawing with watercolor
9x12 Arches Rough 140 Lb Paper
I drew this little White-breasted Nuthatch in the car, so the pencil drawing was a bit heavy. I then painted him in that evening. Do you recognize him? He's from the same ref photo I used for the ATC painting #57.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
My first acrylic painting since I started the challenge. I knew it would take several layers to get the effect I was after and figured watercolors would probably turn to mud in the process. I used to paint a lot with acrylics, but this is the second in a decade. Let’s hope the coming decade is a little more productive!
I painted this from a photo Dale took recently. The sun had thinned the fog, but hadn’t obliterated it. The result was magical rays of sun reaching deep into the forest. In all honesty the photographs we took that day are way more awesome than my painting, but I enjoyed trying to build depth into my painting.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Sorry about posting multiple paintings in one post, but they just go together. Now, I will go back to posting one painting at a time- so I don't make anyone crazy!
I have been working on watercolors for Christmas cards. Some I liked and some got tossed. I started with more "beachy" ideas and just decided I wanted a more "Christmassy" feel. Add to that, the fact that I wanted to paint "2010" written in the sand, and it just wasn't working to my satisfaction. SO- these are the 3 paintings I liked the most. I want to see red and green at Christmas, so the beach just got left behind in favor of shiny lights and jingle bells with ribbon! I am definitely into painting shiny lately- metal and glass. I have been working on reflections- I enjoy painting reflective surfaces, but they do have their unique difficulties. As an artist who loves still life, reflections are a major factor- so why not get comfortable with painting them? Now, to Photoshop and Print Shop and all the not so fun computer work that goes into turning a watercolor into a card.
Sunday morning I went birding at Winton Woods (a Hamilton County park in Cincinnati, OH) with the Cincinnati Audubon Society. At one point, we were in a stand of pine trees filled with Red-breasted Nuthatches. The little birds are lighting fast...and constantly moving. Their nasally calls were soothing and surrounded us. That evening I painted the three acrylics from memory. It was cold and overcast that morning signaling the end of our Indian summer...and even the end of autumn.
Painted on 9x12 Arches Rough 140 Lb Paper, Watercolor
I painted this fellow Monday night and took a bit of time with him. I used a very light pencil sketch underneath so the water colors could be vibrant and not weighed down by graphite showing through.
Painted on 9x12 Acrylic Paper, Acrylic
Trying to capture the movement of these little birds and autumn's last hurrah, I painted the three acrylics quickly without a drawing underneath, adding in a dark background to relay the gloom of the morning (and the end of autumn). Flashes of autumn color give a nod to the season at it tries to hold on, but we know winter is on the way.
Painted on 9x12 Acrylic Paper, Acrylic
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I have been painting a lot recently, but don't want to post too many at one time, so I am pacing myself on the posting! This is one of my latest- I have been practicing painting reflections on metal and glass. I am hoping that the more I practice them, the easier they will become to paint. The difficulty with the corkscrew wasn't even the reflections, it was the crazy perspective problems!
Another 20 min challenge! Sitting in the hotel room on my recent trip to the foothills of the Himalayas in Assam I decided to paint this teak tree outside the window. I focused on the large leaves and painted straight on to the paper with very wet paints and no drawing. I didn't think too much about what I was doing but used instinct and colours as I saw it! It was quick and bold! Not my usual style of painting, but I thoroughly enjoyed it! Its a milestone really, as I seem to have got the perspective of the path, and all this without spending too much time first drawing out the picture! Certainly will try this some more!
Monday, November 15, 2010
I finished my doe today. It is a mule deer doe, nibbling on willow leaves. Mule deer have such big ears. When I first saw one I could hardly believe my eyes. Not to be biased, but I’d rather draw a dozen mule deer than one white-tailed deer.
I saw this doe about three weeks ago when we went down to the Klamath Basin to camp. A small group of deer were feeding in the strip of land between wetlands and a steep rocky cliff. That area isn't hunted, so the deer are quite tolerant of our presence.
Pigma pen and watercolor.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Other than field sketches I haven’t had time to paint/draw for two weeks. I began to feel like a boil ready to burst. My world has been full of geek stuff. Today I promised myself a chunk of time to paint. It felt so good! It also made me realize how good this challenge has been for me. A year ago I probably would have read a good book ‘in my time off.’ Today I craved an opportunity to paint.
This little painting is done from an old photo I took years ago because I wanted to paint the scene. I was intrigued by the funny long arms of the Sitka spruce and the golden dune grass, along with the gorse and bushes. I painted this quite loosy goosy for me. I was also working on a more detailed piece of a doe (soon to post, I hope) and needed something to keep me busy during the times I needed paint to dry.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
9x12 Arches Rough 140 Lb Paper, Watercolor
I drew this white-breasted Nuthatch in the car as I waited for Matty at school. I finished up the drawing and added the watercolor at his tennis clinic. I used to read while I waited, but now that I'm not afraid to paint and draw in public, I'm using the time to meet the 100 painting challenge. (My booklist, however, has come to a screeching halt!)
7x10 Arches Cold Pressed 140 Lb Paper, Watercolor
I drew and painted this Golden-crowned Kinglet in the car as I waited for Matty. It only took 15 minutes. I wanted to see if I could capture a fair representation quickly. I'd like to redo this one and spend more time on it. I saw both of these birds on the Little Miami Trail...and drew them from ref photos I took then.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Veterans Day has always been a meaningful day in our house. Our sons grew up with two veterans in their family- grandfather (USMC Korea) and dad (USMC Vietnam) and both grew up to be veterans themselves (USAF Afghanistan and Iraq) .
When I was in junior high, many of us had P.O.W. bracelets to honor the many Prisoners of War during the Vietnam years. I do not remember how long we wore them, but I do remember when we got to see many of them getting off the planes in 1973-finally home. For the time I wore the bracelet, I only knew the name of this hero. When the former prisoners returned home, I had a face to match to the name. LCDR Edward Davis was a navy pilot who flew 57 missions before being captured and held for 7 1/2 years. A hero.
When I came across this bracelet in a drawer recently, I wanted to use it in a watercolor. I ended up painting it twice because I wasn't sure the first attempt (from above, kind of difficult perspective) was what I wanted. When I went with the straight on view, I was happier with the painting. I have been working on painting reflections and metal lately, so this was a good learning project for me.
Monday, November 8, 2010
9x12 Acrylic Paper, Acrylic
I painted this Carolina Wren about a week ago with a palette knife and lots of thick, rich paint. The paint just finished drying enough to go under the scanner's glass today. I'd never painted with a palette knife before, and I really liked it! The painting has the look of carved leather--the scanner didn't do this one justice...
This painting has also been sitting for about a week waiting to dry. When applied thick, the Open Acrylics really do act like oils. I didn't use a palette knife on this one...just quick strokes of thick paint with a brush.
I drew and painted this one over a period of three days sitting in my car as I waited to pick Matty up from school. I'd just crawl over to the passenger seat and pull out a ref photo and watercolor block and start sketching and painting. Water brushes come with their own water supply, so they make it easy.
I took this photo in my garden in the Spring. I kept seeing birds flying in and out of my tree rose and took a peek when they had flown away. It just seemed like it needed to be painted! My main challenge with this watercolor, was to make the nest look like it was inside the rose bush with leaves almost hiding it. Hopefully, my darker values inside the nest helped it recede a bit. I also intentionally left the roses more obscure and less detailed so they wouldn't be a main focus- but at the same time, I wanted their color. This watercolor is painted on cold pressed rough surface paper for its added texture.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
I'm posting in the challenge after a very long time....I have had my daughter and grand daughter visiting for the first time, so was totally immersed being grand mom! This the 3rd time this cactus has flowered. I followed it closely this time as every other time I thought it died at the bud stage. This time I managed to catch it in full bloom for a very short period, late at night! Its such a huge bud for such a small plant, and the flower was a glorious white bloom with deep pink tinted petals! I should have painted the flower but it was very late at night, and I didn't realise it would start fading in a few hours! I did it as a twenty minute challenge as well as for Cactus Monday!
Saturday, November 6, 2010
I have been busy painting, and didn't realize that it had been three weeks since I posted my first painting for the challenge! Maybe its time for me to get organized.
This vineyard painting is a watercolor- 18X24 on rough surface paper. I love painting vineyards, and thought this was going to be more fun than it turned out to be. We used to live on a vineyard and I took many photos of the vines at different times of the year. Harvest time was one of my favorites because the grape leaves start to change color and the green grapes on the trays turn to a dark brownish purple.
I had trouble getting my shadows the way I wanted them, and had to lift paint and try again to get the cast shadows the purplish tone that I was looking for. I also repainted the vines on the shade side with added ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson to get a purplish green there. My next problem when I finally finished, was getting it scanned in 4 sections to stitch together. It wasn't matching up well, so I am just going to post a photo instead.
I love it! Laure sent me another crop choice ... by getting rid of those long dark stretches on the outer edges, the viewer's eye stays within the image and the dragonfly holds his position of importance.
Her advice is a wonderful example of how much we can learn from each other.
This is a field sketch. I was savoring Indian summer sun and sitting on a knarly root while I skeched. My original drawing is tall and skinny. I'm posting both so you can see the cropped version (which I like better) and the full sketch. In the long one I think the strong lines at the lower part of the sketch pull the viewer's eye right out of the picture.
Please share your thoughts with me .... do you prefer the cropped version or the full one?
Thursday, November 4, 2010
The sun is finally shining again, after days of rain and even a little frost -- one of the last chances of the season to watch dragonflies. This is a careful field sketch of one. The dragonfly kept returning to a nearby strand of dead grass, and even landed on my hand a half a dozen times. Very considerate! Each time I had another piece of anatomy I was wondering about. Note how only his front feet rest on the strand of grass. He holds on with little barbs on the other four legs.
Pelikan foundtain pen and watercolor.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
This is one of those milestone paintings because I sketched it and painted it in public--with a lot of people around. Normally I paint by myself, but I knew I was going to have an hour's wait while my son was at a tennis clinic, so after reading Laure Ferlita's post today on all of her travel watercolor sets, I decided it was time to haul my paints and paper with me and paint. I am a sloppy sketcher, and when I prepare for a watercolor, I normally tone down my heavy-handed sketching, but I didn't have time for that, so I just let my heavy hand go free. The pencil marks show through the paint, but that's okay. It was dark there, and I couldn't see up close very well because I didn't have my little magnifying glasses (uugh...getting old is murder on the eyes. I can't see anything up close anymore). As a result, this little egret's eyes suffered a bit and look outlined. I was going to fix it when I got home but decided to leave it as is because each painting in the challenge is a learning experience. I'm going to take my paints with me now when I know I'm going to have a long wait and keep practicing painting on the fly...in front of people!
When I paint with acrylics I don't lay a sketch down at all. I just grab the paintbrush and start painting, but watercolors aren't that forgiving! I might try painting this guy in acrylic and see what happens. I took the photo I used as a reference for this painting when I was in Florida this spring. The egret was in his breeding plumage and the wind had whipped those beautiful plumes on his head in the air.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Paintings 57 - 68 are all ATCs, and I've had them finished for a month, but I forgot to scan them. I kept looking at my total and thinking it was really low...then I remembered the ATCs! D'uh! Now I'm completely caught up and should be able to make the challenge by the end of the year. Last night I painted a wren, but the Golden Open Acrylics need a couple of days to completely dry (at least they do for me, because I apply the paint in thick blobs here and there...).